These orphaned animals are looking for new homes for the new year

The Toronto Humane Society has more than just cats and dogs. As most people are looking for these two animals, other pets often go overlooked, as do the pets who have health problems or other challenges that deem them less popular to adopt.

As the holiday approaches, and the new year is almost upon us, we wanted to make a call out to our readers to help us find homes for some of the shelter’s more difficult to adopt pets.

Let’s find new homes for these loveable creatures in time for Christmas and ensure they have a New Year with a new family.

Liz – 12 years old; female turtle

Liz has been with us for 5 years! She is not the only turtle that has been in our care for this long. Turtles have the longest stay in our shelter and all the while, they can make wonderful companions.

Turtles like Liz can live for a long time (up to 50+ years!) and will require owners who are committed to keeping her happy and healthy! She’ll need an 80-120 gallon aquarium or a preformed pond, depending on the location in the home. Water temperature should be 72 to 76 deg with a dry area and basking spot in the high 80’s.

A large external filter which should ideally turn the volume of the water over twice per hour is one of the essentials to have. UV light is extremely important for turtles as it mimics the sun, which has an immediate effect on their natural behaviour, skin and shell health and helps them absorb calcium into their bodies, which we as caregivers add to their diets.

Proper research should be done before deciding if a turtle is the right fit for your home, lifestyle, and family. If you’re interested in meeting Liz or want more information on turtles and turtle care, please contact us at


Mary Kate and Elizabeth – 4 month’s old; bonded pair of rats

While it is true that younger animals get adopted more quickly than older, bonded pairs often have a longer stay in shelter too.

Shy and sweet as pie-this is the best way to describe these two adorable rat sisters, Mary Kate and Elizabeth.

Though a little shy upon first meeting them, these two warm up really quickly to new friends.

The key to their hearts is through delicious treats. Word around the shelter is that they have determined their favourite, so far, are carrots!

Mary Kate and Elizabeth will bring a little bit of sugar, spice, and everything nice into your life.

If you’re looking to welcome these two new cuties to your home, please begin our adoptions process at adopt-a-pet/adoption-process.

Please note: It’s important to give rats big cages to stay happy and enriched. When picking out a cage for your future rat, or custom building one yourself, aim for a cage with dimensions of 30″L x 20″W x 40″H or larger, especially for multiple rats. A picture of a suitable cage will be required before the adoption can be finalized.


Gumaro – 4 year old; mixed breed dog from Mexico!

Gumaro has been with us for over a year now. Gumaro also comes with 4 free training sessions!

Gumaro travelled all the way from Mexico! He’s an excitable young dog who, like most homeless pups, hasn’t been given the structure he needs to learn manners and foundation skills. But trust us when we say: this boy is willing to learn!

Gumaro loves to run and run until he can’t run anymore. Unfortunately, upon his arrival to Canada he had injured one of his hind legs, while this was healing, he fractured his other hind leg and had to have surgery for this one to heal. He has since completely recovered from these injuries but the restricted exercise was really tough for him as he didn’t have an outlet for his high levels of energy. He couldn’t run and play with other people and dogs and that has resulted in some leash reactivity.

Gumaro loves other dogs and he also loves people. When he can’t say hello to people or other dogs, he can become quite frustrated. This is something we are working on with him and is something he’ll need to continue working on in his new home.

The ideal home for Gumaro would be a family with a very active lifestyle. He would love to have a house with a fenced yard so that he can run around and play once his leg is all healed up. He would so best in a home outside of city limits or in a very quiet neighbourhood where his reactivity and exposure to triggers can be properly managed. His ideal humans have experience with high energy breeds while understanding (and being prepared to address) his tendency to jump up and shout when he doesn’t get to run around freely.

He could go home with older children so long as they are calm and considerate of his energetic personality. He could also go home with another dog, but he would need to meet him or her here at the shelter before he makes any decisions! Ideally the other dog should be around his size, small breed dogs may not be the best match for his rough and rowdy play style.

This boy is full of life and love. He’s got such a fun personality. He’ll never say no to an adventure and will never leave your side once he gets to know you. He is just looking for what he’s never been given: structure, routine, and a loving family to help guide him.


Sparky – 16 years young; tabby cat

Sparky has been with us for a year. He also gets 4 free post-adoption training sessions.

Sparky enjoys the simple things! He likes treats, people watching, and naps. Simple. He is willing to bet there are some humans out there who like those things too. When they read this, he hopes they come get him! He is very ready to settle down in a quiet, calm home where he can nap, perch himself by the window, and complain about young people.

Sparky has Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD). This level of kidney function is often stable for long periods of time. Sparky requires a low-protein diet and may require medication in the future. Our team of veterinarians will work with you to and Sparky for a long-term care plan.

Sparky would do best in a home without young children or other pets so he can relax in his glory days, in peace!

If you’d like to inquire about this old timer, visit our adoptions page at adopt-a-pet/adoption-process.





About Joel Levy 2585 Articles
Editor-In-Chief at Toronto Guardian. Photographer and Writer for Toronto Guardian and Joel Levy Photography